Ferrari first unveiled the 458 in 2009, as a replacement for the F430. Over the last few months, Ferrari was spied testing a new 458 variant, which was thought to be 458 M (Modificata). But that is not the case.
What was thought to be a 458 M (when it was spied in a camouflaged state earlier), is actually a new beast altogether. Called Ferrari 488 GTB, the new sportscar from the brand with prancing horse as its face, is powered by a twin-turboed 3.9 litre V8 (yes, the Italian marquee embraces turbo for 458 replacement).
Lets talk about the power figures first (after all that is what matters most). This new engine delivers 670 hp at 8,000 rpm and 760 Nm (560 lb-ft) torque at 3,000 rpm. This power is delivered to the rear wheels via an updated 7 speed automatic dual clutch gearbox. This results in the Ferrari 488 GTB achieving 0-100 kmph in flat 3 seconds, 0-200 kmph in 8.3 seconds and a top speed of 330 kmph.
Outgoing 458 was powered by a naturally aspirated 4.5l V8 generating 562 hp at 9,000 rpm and 540 Nm (398 lb-ft) torque at 6,000 rpm. Transmission to the rear wheels was via older 7 speed dual clutch gearbox. 0-100 kmph was achieved in 3.4 seconds, while top speed was at 325 kmph.
Not only the Ferrari 488 GTB is more powerful, but also has a much better gearbox which features variable torque management. Apart from this, there is the modified gear ratios, which have been programmed to deliver unmatched progressive acceleration when you floor the accelerator pedal. Speaking about the exhaust sound of 488, Ferrari says it is full, clear, and totally distinctive.
Ferrari 488 GTB is also distinctive in styling when compared to the 458. It features large air intake scallop (inspired from the first mid-engined V8 from Ferrari, the 308 GTB) divided into two by a splitter, sculptural flanks, diffuser with active flaps, repositioned exhaust tailpipes, and redesigned circular headlights. All exterior mods are carried out to make the car more aerodynamic and reduce drag. The 488 has a efficiency figure of 1.67, which is a new record for a production Ferrari, and has 50 percent more downforce.
Inside the cabin, overall design remains same. But, there is the addition of satellite control clusters, and angled air vents. You can see the car in flesh at the upcoming Geneva Motor Show. After this, a 488 Spider variant is also expected to debut at the 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show later this year.